States with the most new housing building permits

Published 8:00 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2021

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States with the most new housing building permits

The U.S. housing market continues to surge after home prices rose at a record pace the past year. This, of course, was due in part to the pandemic and its accompanying work-from-home trend, which enticed residents to seek out more affordable homes in locations other than large metropolitan areas. In response, developers from coast to coast are taking out more and more housing permits to cash in on the boom. Still, demand seems to be outpacing the housing stock in many locations across the country, partly because of supply chain issues, which has caused the cost of raw materials for housing—like lumber—to rise.

Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s State of the Cities Data Systems, UpNest ranked all 50 states and Washington, D.C., to identify where the most new housing permits were issued between August 2020 and August 2021. The top 25 states were ranked according to the number of housing permits issued per 100,000 people. Additionally, the housing permits are broken down into three different types—single-family, multifamily, and 5+ family housing. The appearance on this list of several large states known for their affordability will come as no surprise. But a few here may come as a bit of a shock.

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#25. Virginia

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 32,831 (380.4 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 22,402 (259.5 per 100,000 people, #23 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 10,429 (120.8 per 100,000 people, #23 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 9,966 (115.5 per 100,000 people, #22 among states)

Like most of the United States, home prices have been hot in Virginia since the pandemic. In fact, the state’s sales activity in 2021 is expected to exceed that of 2020. While realtors in the state say home prices will continue going up in 2022, they’re also anticipating the rate of growth to slow due to rising prices and a lack of housing stock. Hence, Virginia’s ranking at 25.

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#24. Alabama

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 19,621 (390.5 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 16,924 (336.8 per 100,000 people, #14 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 2,697 (53.7 per 100,000 people, #42 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 2,377 (47.3 per 100,000 people, #42 among states)

Housing prices in Alabama remain on the uptick largely because the state has a historically low number of homes available. That, combined with the coronavirus-fueled demand, has sent prices to record highs for a state typically known for its relatively inexpensive cost of living. Stats from the Alabama Center for Real Estate at the University of Alabama show that the statewide median sale price in August was $216,396—a 6.6% increase from the previous year.

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#23. New Jersey

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 38,048 (409.6 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 14,098 (151.8 per 100,000 people, #40 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 23,950 (257.8 per 100,000 people, #9 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 22,014 (237 per 100,000 people, #8 among states)

In New Jersey, housing prices have shot up so far and so fast that even entry-level homes are now becoming out of reach for many residents. That’s a problem because rents also are rising in the Garden State. A 2021 report jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Housing and Community Development Network of New Jersey found that New Jersey ranks as the sixth most expensive place in the country for renters. The good news is that, with increased housing stock, prices could stabilize in the future.

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#22. Wyoming

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 2,378 (412.2 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 1,891 (327.8 per 100,000 people, #17 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 487 (84.4 per 100,000 people, #33 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 330 (57.2 per 100,000 people, #39 among states)

Wyoming has seen an influx of movers from out-of-state since the coronavirus began, with migrants drawn to the Equality State for its wide-open spaces and historically inexpensive cost of living. Residents of neighboring Colorado, where home prices are significantly higher, have particularly been attracted to Wyoming. This has led to a 42% increase in building permits issued from August 2020 to August 2021.

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#21. Oregon

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 17,802 (420.1 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 10,723 (253.1 per 100,000 people, #25 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 7,079 (167.1 per 100,000 people, #17 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 6,532 (154.2 per 100,000 people, #17 among states)

Oregon’s housing market is a bit different from the others on this list. Its rising prices, and corresponding rising building permits, result from a combination of out-of-state buyers and Portland, Oregon, residents fleeing the city for the suburbs. But, at the same time, Portland remains an attractive destination for younger generations, who view the city as more affordable than comparable locales in California. Housing demand in Oregon is increasing on many fronts.

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#20. Arkansas

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 12,681 (421.1 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 9,743 (323.5 per 100,000 people, #19 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 2,938 (97.6 per 100,000 people, #29 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 2,030 (67.4 per 100,000 people, #35 among states)

In raw numbers, 1,400 more building permits were issued in Arkansas in August 2021 over the previous year. Proportionally, that’s just a 13% increase, but for a state with a population of just over 3 million, that’s pretty significant. Like other states on this list, Arkansas is seeing a rise in building permits because the demand far exceeds the state’s supply of homes.

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#19. North Dakota

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 3,416 (438.5 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 2,141 (274.8 per 100,000 people, #22 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 1,275 (163.7 per 100,000 people, #19 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 1,002 (128.6 per 100,000 people, #21 among states)

One of the nation’s least populated states with just 779,094 residents, North Dakota’s housing boom is predicated on its overall lack of supply. Like many places in the United States, there’s a high demand for housing in North Dakota due to a lack of housing stock—there just aren’t that many houses available. That’s why the state has seen the number of its new building permits rise from 2,947 in August 2020 to 3,416 a year later.

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#18. Nebraska

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 9,027 (460.2 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 5,528 (281.8 per 100,000 people, #21 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 3,499 (178.4 per 100,000 people, #16 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 3,235 (164.9 per 100,000 people, #16 among states)

According to Redfin, the median sale price of a home in Nebraska has risen 7.9% over the past year—but the number of homes sold in the state has dropped 1.2%. Unsurprisingly, developers have responded with a 23% increase in new building permits. Developers there are building 20% more single-family residences and 27% more multifamily residences.

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#17. Minnesota

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 26,340 (461.6 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 12,474 (218.6 per 100,000 people, #28 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 13,866 (243 per 100,000 people, #12 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 13,487 (236.3 per 100,000 people, #10 among states)

New Census data shows that Minnesota’s Twin Cities have the worst housing shortage in the United States. The shortage may stem from the Great Recession and housing crisis of 2008, which most of the country is still feeling the repercussions of economic plundering. So it’s no wonder the North Star State is on this list. More than 4,000 new housing permits were issued in August 2021 over the previous year, an increase of 18%.

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#16. Georgia

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 56,630 (528.7 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 48,511 (452.9 per 100,000 people, #11 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 8,119 (75.8 per 100,000 people, #38 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 7,268 (67.8 per 100,000 people, #34 among states)

More than 11,000 additional new building permits were issued in Georgia from August 2020 to August 2021. That dwarfs the increases seen in earlier states on this list. But with a population of nearly 11 million, that’s only good for about a 25% increase in new building permits. Since the coronavirus began, more people have started moving to Georgia, seeking cheaper home prices. But the housing supply has been woefully inadequate in the Peach State. In particular, the state has faced difficulties building new homes due to high lumber and labor prices.

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#15. Montana

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 5,952 (549 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 2,742 (252.9 per 100,000 people, #26 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 3,210 (296.1 per 100,000 people, #6 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 2,550 (235.2 per 100,000 people, #11 among states)

In July, The Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com named Billings, Montana, the state’s largest city, as the nation’s top “emerging housing market,” defined as locations with appreciating housing values and appealing amenities. Rural areas in Montana’s Granite, Sanders, and Mineral counties have all seen increases as well. Developers have identified Montana as a hot location. The state has seen a 62% increase in new building permits issued from August 2020 to August 2021.

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#14. Tennessee

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 46,944 (679.3 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 29,363 (424.9 per 100,000 people, #12 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 17,581 (254.4 per 100,000 people, #11 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 16,807 (243.2 per 100,000 people, #7 among states)

Like other states on this list, Tennessee’s home-building surge is being driven at least in part by people moving in from out of state, particularly big cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. A city like Knoxville, Tennessee, home of the University of Tennessee, is likely appealing to city slickers because home prices there, while rising, are still smaller than what they’d find in major metropolitan areas. Nashville, with its country music legacy and professional sports teams, is another major attraction for out-of-towners looking for a new start.

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#13. Washington

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 52,416 (680.3 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 25,115 (325.9 per 100,000 people, #18 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 27,301 (354.3 per 100,000 people, #4 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 24,581 (319 per 100,000 people, #4 among states)

Washington state saw its number of new housing permits rise 21% from August 2020 to August 2021. But as the Northwest Multiple Listing Service noted in September, housing activity typically dips in Washington in August—and it did again this year, with the number of new listings in the state declining 11.5% from July. Still, housing inventory overall is considered low in Washington, and with mortgage rates also remaining low, experts expect demand to continue to outstrip supply in the Evergreen State.

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#12. North Carolina

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 74,903 (717.5 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 53,841 (515.7 per 100,000 people, #9 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 21,062 (201.8 per 100,000 people, #15 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 20,576 (197.1 per 100,000 people, #14 among states)

An August report by WalletHub identified three North Carolina cities as among the country’s top real estate markets. Both Durham and Cary, North Carolina, ranked in the top 12 as the best places to buy a house. Meanwhile, Raleigh, North Carolina, was ranked as the ninth-best large city to buy a house. With rankings like that, is it any wonder that the issuance of new building permits in North Carolina grew by 23% over the last year?

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#11. Nevada

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 23,479 (756.3 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 16,210 (522.1 per 100,000 people, #8 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 7,269 (234.1 per 100,000 people, #13 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 6,334 (204 per 100,000 people, #13 among states)

In Nevada, housing prices are being driven up by an influx of cash buyers. Their growing presence is pushing out purchasers reliant on traditional mortgages. In response, developers are pulling new building permits as fast as they can. The number of new building permits issued in Nevada rose 34% from August 2020 to August 2021.

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#10. South Dakota

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 7,173 (809 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 3,425 (386.3 per 100,000 people, #13 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 3,748 (422.7 per 100,000 people, #2 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 3,405 (384 per 100,000 people, #2 among states)

South Dakota, a state of just 886,667, saw its median home value rise 4.9%, according to FortuneBuilders. Developers responded by pulling 2,447 more new building permits over that. But because the state’s population is so small, that modest increase in raw numbers translates to a 52% growth in new building permits.

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#9. Colorado

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 47,548 (823.5 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 27,593 (477.9 per 100,000 people, #10 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 19,955 (345.6 per 100,000 people, #5 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 18,412 (318.9 per 100,000 people, #5 among states)

Colorado is one of eight states where more than half of its ZIP codes saw a double-digit increase on the Zillow Home Value Index, according to a report from Headwater Economics. That study looked at 494 ZIP codes in Colorado and identified the 20 with the highest home appreciation rates. Five of those ZIP codes were in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where a lack of housing inventory is driving prices. Luckily, the state is responding by increasing the issuance of new building permits by 38% over the previous year.

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#8. Texas

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 254,328 (872.6 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 171,975 (590.1 per 100,000 people, #7 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 82,353 (282.6 per 100,000 people, #7 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 76,358 (262 per 100,000 people, #6 among states)

Texas has seen a big increase in residential building activity, both proportionally and in raw numbers, due to an influx of out-of-staters attracted by the state’s affordability. From August 2020 to August 2021, the number of new building permits issued in the state rose from 207,114 to 254,328—an increase of 47,214 permits. But even proportionally, that was a significant increase for the nation’s second-largest state, as the number of new building permits issued rose 23%.

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#7. Florida

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 191,515 (889.2 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 136,188 (632.3 per 100,000 people, #6 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 55,327 (256.9 per 100,000 people, #10 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 50,995 (236.8 per 100,000 people, #9 among states)

In Florida, the housing market remains up for both single-family homes and condos and townhouses, but the market is hotter for the latter, which saw 1,450 more condos and townhomes close in August 2021 over the previous year, according to Florida Realtor data. That’s an increase of 13%. Likewise, prices remain high in the Sunshine State, with the median sale price for a single-family home sitting at $354,000 in August 2021 compared to $300,000 a year earlier. The statewide median home prices for condos and townhomes have been leveling off since April. In August 2021, the median price for that category of home was $252,500 in August 2021 compared with $217,500 a year earlier.

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#6. Washington, D.C.

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 6,176 (895.7 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 320 (46.4 per 100,000 people, #50 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 5,856 (849.3 per 100,000 people, #1 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 5,805 (841.9 per 100,000 people, #1 among states)

Washington, D.C., appears so high on this list because, proportionally, it has issued a relatively large number of new housing permits per 100,000 people. But Washington, D.C., of course, is a city and the rest of the locations on this list are states—meaning the nation’s capital has a much smaller population and thus a much smaller number of building permits. Indeed, the number of building permits issued in Washington, D.C., only increased by 552 in raw numbers or 10% over the past year.

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#5. South Carolina

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 46,336 (905.3 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 40,521 (791.7 per 100,000 people, #2 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 5,815 (113.6 per 100,000 people, #25 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 5,473 (106.9 per 100,000 people, #24 among states)

The latest headlines out of South Carolina speculate that the housing market in the state may start slowing down due to a lack of available houses to meet the demand. But data shows that developers in the Palmetto State are working hard to boost the supply. From August 2020 to August 2021, 35% more new building permits were issued, an increase in raw numbers of 12,110 permits.

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#4. Arizona

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 65,465 (915.4 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 49,114 (686.8 per 100,000 people, #4 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 16,351 (228.6 per 100,000 people, #14 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 15,020 (210 per 100,000 people, #12 among states)

From August 2020 to August 2021, the number of new home building permits issued in Arizona rose from 52,543 to 65,465, a 25% increase (or 12,922 additional permits). Still, experts are expecting demand to exceed supply in the Grand Canyon State for the foreseeable future. This could lead to dual trends of more people renting out their homes for additional income as well as buyers putting down a lot more cash on their home purchases.

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#3. Delaware

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 9,311 (940.6 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 8,118 (820 per 100,000 people, #1 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 1,193 (120.5 per 100,000 people, #24 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 795 (80.3 per 100,000 people, #30 among states)

The number of new building permits issued in Delaware rose by only 1,817 permits from August 2020 to August 2021. But the state is so small—with a population of less than 1 million—that the boost is good for a 24% increase. Delaware’s building increase has entirely been in single-family residences, which saw a growth of 36%, while the number of new multifamily home building permits actually dropped 22%.

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#2. Idaho

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 18,833 (1,024 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 13,974 (759.8 per 100,000 people, #3 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 4,859 (264.2 per 100,000 people, #8 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 3,612 (196.4 per 100,000 people, #15 among states)

Boise, Idaho, the largest and most populated city in the Gem State, is home to the most overpriced houses in the nation, according to a report from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. Developers are certainly capitalizing on the housing prices in Idaho, as the number of new building permits issued there has grown 21% from August 2020 to August 2021. Still, in raw numbers, that’s an increase of just 3,282 permits, which is relatively small when compared to the much larger states on this list, like Texas.

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#1. Utah

– Total housing permits issued over the past year: 33,690 (1,029.8 per 100,000 people)
— Single-family housing permits issued: 21,826 (667.1 per 100,000 people, #5 among states)
— Multifamily housing permits issued: 11,864 (362.6 per 100,000 people, #3 among states)
— 5+ family housing permits issued: 10,768 (329.1 per 100,000 people, #3 among states)

Three Utah cities—Ogden, Provo, and Salt Lake City—fall into the top 10 most overpriced cities in the United States, according to a report from Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University. The Beehive State is certainly seeing a lot of building activity fueled by rising housing prices and an influx of people coming from both coasts. The number of new building permits issued from August 2020 to August 2021 rose by nearly 7,000, good for a 24% increase. The increase has come in a 27% rise in single-family residences and a 20% increase in multifamily residences.

This story originally appeared on UpNest
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